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Ridley Block Operations to expand

Paul Standafer, director of plant operations (left), and John Wajer, plant manager at Ridley Block Operations, stand in front of the facility on the east side of Worthington. The plant will undergo an expansion yet this year.

WORTHINGTON -- A few changes are in store for Ridley Block Operations on the east edge of Worthington in the coming months.

The plant that specializes in Crystalyx, a blended molasses nutritional product for cattle, will undergo an expansion by mid-December to manufacture the Golden Lyk line of compressed nutritional blocks for livestock.

Ridley Inc. announced the purchase of Golden Lyk LLC and its parent company, Denco, to shareholders earlier this month. Golden Lyk was being produced in Morris, and the equipment will now be moved to Worthington's Ridley Block plant.

Paul Standafer, director of plant operations for Ridley Block, said moving the operation to Worthington was the best fit.

"Worthington is the closest block plant to Morris," he said. "Worthington already is one of the largest block plants Ridley has, we just have a very good workforce here, and we have the room to put it in."

In addition to relocating equipment to the Worthington facility, Ridley Block Operations will add a 10,500-square-foot warehouse, add exterior bulk bins and increase the size of the production tower at its site. Three employees will be added immediately, with another three to six employees to be added in the next few years, said Standafer.

The acquisition will move Ridley Block Operations into all facets of the livestock block industry, he added. Since the local plant opened in 1983, it has manufactured a low-moisture block for the animal industry. Now, with Golden Lyk, the plant will begin to make and market a compressed nutritional block product.

"As part of our continued growth strategy ... we will also get into composite (block) yet this winter, and we will probably put in a pressed block line next spring," said Standafer. "(The expansion) gives us another vehicle to get nutrition to the livestock."

He said the Golden Lyk product is a good line, and sales are expected to increase dramatically with Ridley's marketing program. The goal is to quadruple sales within the next four years.

"We'll take the business (Denco) started and run with it," Standafer said. "It will grow exponentially. That's how Ridley has really grown the last couple years -- by acquisition."

Ridley Block Operations, a division of Ridley Nutritional Systems, opened in Worthington in 1983 as Livestock Energy Systems. In 1988, the company was sold to Hubbard Feeds, and in 1997, it was sold from Hubbard to Ridley Inc.

Ridley Inc. operates 41 plants in the United States and Canada, with seven plants in the block operations division, including facilities in Worthington and Whitewood, S.D., both in the Midwest, and other plants in Kentucky, Alabama, Texas and California.

The Worthington location ships products to customers within a 500-mile radius and has shipped product internationally on occasion. The plant operates 24 hours per day and has 28 employees at this time.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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